Tiffany Young Blossoms Into Solo Pop Stardom During Glittery NYC Tour Debut (REVIEW)
Tiffany Young made her solo U.S. tour performance debut at Bowery Ballroom in Manhattan Wednesday night (March 6), where the K-pop superstar-turned-soloist enchanted a sold-out crowd with her special brand of empowerment, romance and pop theatrics.
There was no opener before her set; the gorgeously lit stage was Young's alone, save for a live band, backup singer and one guest duet with her talented co-writer, Ginette Claudette. Wearing a chic all-black ensemble including a bustier, asymmetrical lace skirt and mesh gloves, the California-born artist channeled the sartorial spirit of MTV-era Madonna, who she honored at one point with an inspired cover.
The artist kicked things off with her swirling Lips on Lips EP track "The Flower," later telling the crowd that she chose to open with that particular song as it represented her mission as an artist: to grow and to encourage others to see the beauty in their struggles. After an '80s-inspired, synth-driven medley of "I Just Wanna Dance," off Young's 2016's solo Korean EP of the same name, and "Express Yourself," she incorporated a sultry jazz style for "Over My Skin," dedicating the sexy confidence anthem to "all the beautiful women in [the crowd and in her life]."
Padded with a handful of expertly selected pop covers (including *NSYNC's "Gone" and euphoric concert closer George Michael's "Freedom! '90"), Young's still-burgeoning solo discography was just plentiful enough for a satisfying and cohesive set. While Young's show rightfully focused on her own music, she did treat fans to a solo rendition of Girls' Generation's 2015 track "Talk Talk," which concertgoers responded to by vigorously waving their pink light sticks in the crowd, casting a warm glow all across the venue.
In a particularly moving moment during the evening, the sentimental artist brought two visibly emotional fans onstage to sing "Not Barbie," a song about inclusivity, self-love and body positivity — a bright standout from her new EP. When she wasn't dazzling with full-blown upbeat pop bangers (she become particularly energized and rowdy during "Teach You," flipping off an imaginary ex) or sharing delightfully earnest anecdotes, Young generously leaned into the sweet 'n' smooth melodies of her throwback-inspired R&B jams. She channeled her inner Mariah Carey or Vanessa Williams and flexed the wings of her angelic vocal range on "Fool" and "Runaway," the latter which she delivered with the feminine swag of a '90s ballad diva.
At one point during the show — which concluded with a brilliant mashup of Young's anthemic artist manifesto "Born Again" and Michael's similarly profound "Freedom! '90" — I found myself stunned by the artist's undeniable onstage charm, confidence and prowess. But despite the concert having been Young's first solo U.S. tour stop, I had to remind myself that Young is, despite her debut billing, a superstar in every sense of the word, as she's logged more than a decade of experience and success in the global pop sphere as part as Girls' Generation.
On Wednesday, she proved she doesn't just have the chops, the moves and the charisma to command the stage on her own here in the States. As a solo pop star, Young is in full bloom. I can't wait to see how her garden grows.
See photos and the full set list for Tiffany Young's Lips on Lips New York City tour stop, below.
"I Just Wanna Dance"/"Express Yourself" (Madonna cover) medley
"Over My Skin"
"Talk Talk" (Girls' Generation)
"Not Barbie" (with Ginette Claudette)
"Gone" (*NSYNC cover)
"Lips on Lips"
"Freedom! '90" (George Michael cover)
"Born Again" (reprise)